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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING LEADS COALITION IN URGING FCC TO PROTECT CONSUMER ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

~ Herring leads coalition of 17 attorneys general in asking the FCC to protect access to Lifeline by low-income consumers ~

RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is leading a coalition of 17 attorneys general in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect access to Lifeline for low-income consumers. Lifeline is an affordable communications service for low-income consumers that is offered by different telecom companies. The coalition is asking the FCC to make sure that any mergers or acquisitions between telecom companies protect “millions of Americans’ access to affordable communications services.”

 

“Lifeline provides critical communications services to low-income consumers across Virginia,” said Attorney General Herring. “Access to cell phones is fundamental to our modern society and even our economy where so much is done virtually and programs like Lifeline ensure that millions of low-income Americans have access to this technology. It is so important for the FCC to make sure that this essential program is protected in any potential telecom mergers or acquisitions that may occur.”

 

In their letter, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues explain that, “Lifeline plays a vital role in our economy by providing essential communications services to millions of low-income Americans…[and] [c]onsidering the fundamental role that cellular telephones play in accessing modern society and the modern economy, it is imperative that Lifeline services be protected and maintained if this transaction is approved.”

 

The attorneys general are urging the FCC to “adopt specific conditions that protect the ability of Lifeline customers to use that vital service and protect customers in the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) marketplace.” Adding that, any mergers or acquisitions by various telecom companies could “[result] in a decrease in the number or quality of Lifeline offerings, that could be contrary to the public interest and could have an adverse impact on consumers and the communications industry.”

 

Joining Attorney General Herring in sending today’s letter are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

 

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